Earlham College's Computer Science Department considers experience with practical computing skills a critical part of a CS education. Based on that core value, it developed the Applied Groups, a structure in which students are employed (typically via work study) to solve real-world problems in an educational context. Little experience is required coming in, and students with academic backgrounds other than CS are welcome to join. CS majors are encouraged, but not required, to join an Applied Group.
One of the Applied Groups is the Hardware Interfacing Project (HIP). Through HIP, students design and implement projects that require new software and hardware - programming and gear, code and physical "stuff." It's not "either/or," it's "both/and." Most of HIP's projects involve gear-hacking, mathematics, coding, and design. No one student is responsible for all areas. In this way, HIP makes space for people of diverse interests and skills to work and learn productively.
For example, Earlham's sustainability office wished to run an energy conservation contest between the residence halls. They requested that HIP monitor campus electricity usage and display the measurements in a pretty graph. Fulfilling that request involved electrical-hardware work and web-software work. HIP set up a touchscreen kiosk-style display of this graph in the science building. To emphasize the human role in energy usage and thus produce more meaningful results, HIP is also developing an algorithm to adjust for (e.g.) building size and population.
Charlie Peck:A professor of Computer Science at Earlham College. He coordinates HIP and provides a resource for students who are stuck.
Ivan Babic:A alumnus of Earlham College who currently works here. He maintains our cluster super-computer, works in a number of applied groups, and probably a number of useful things behind the scenes.
Sadie Coughlin-Prego:A student at Earlham interested in computer science and art. She is involved with the design of HIP's web presence and with our various field science projects.
Alex Seewald:A computer science major who also studies physics. He works on the hardware end of the energy monitoring, Earlham's GPS timeserver, the algorithmic and coding aspects of energy normalization, and the website you are readying right now!
Andrey Gavrilov:A student at Earlham who works on the scientific and data-collection aspects of energy normaliztion.
Sofia Bustamonte:Sofia works on field science serial device interfacing, e.g. the YSI 600 R / Ardunio interface.
George Crowson:George is working on a fork of the current energy graph that is tailored for the energy conversation contest. He also maintains the display kiosk.
Craig Earley:An Earlham student with majors in Math and CS, Craig works on the rooftop weather station hardware and the database associated with it. He also set up the webcam and the webpage displaying the most recent weather and photo.
To get a better sense of our day-to-day work, check out our documentation for HIP's past and current projects. Also, feel free to email any of the HIP members listed above; their names are links.